Facebook break-up would be hard
but really it would be soft, a software problem and in the world of clouds and API’s what can’t be done with software ?
Pun intended, Facebook breakup isn’t hard, it is soft, it’s a matter of designing it and can be done. This is Dave Winer proposal, perfectly doable and sensitive. http://scripting.com/2020/10/07/001200.html?title=breakingUpTechCompanies
I quote in full:
“Find the component of the company that really is open tech. Something that was open before they came along, that they foreclosed on, and used their monopoly to put everyone else out of business.#That’s where you draw the line of separation. The core should be spun off into a new company that’s well funded, with a charter to commercialize the tech while maintaining zero lock-in. Totally replaceable. Defined APIs that don’t break.#If the company is viable with these constraints, great. If not, they have enough money to plan their own demise. The key thing is they cannot use their dominance to launch new products. Just the open tech.#You would find people willing to staff such a company, there are lots of idealistic developers, still, who believe in the open internet.#In Microsoft’s case, in the 90s this would have meant spinning out the browser. #Today with Facebook it would mean spinning out the open graph.#With Google, it would have to be at least the core search engine. If Alphabet wanted to run ads on search, they’d have to get in line and compete with others who did. This is the price they pay for trying to use their dominance in search to control everything.#Google would also have to spin out Chrome, same way Microsoft would have spun out MSIE in the 90s.#That’s the basic idea. Look for the old open tech buried in the company, that is the source of their monopolistic control, and extract it. Hopefully it’s very painful, to keep successors from tying to do it in the future.#
other ideas: by law hardware and software in different hands, cloud companies that host service companies. Google and Facebook give up datacenter and related competencies. They only own whatever service they can build on software, government can ask to recombine
(he plays down the effect of Standard Oil and At&T sorto I am smarter you do magical thinking, but comes out at times justificationist and argue with things: since copper network don t get replicated, what let you think that splitting MS will have more OS created, physical natural monopoly mixed up with digital network effect. In the end lots of cues, he says don’t break up, unbundle services like for example Telecom DSL at the local loop. He’s on poimnt showing we will be dealing with local regulations on global networks)
Stratechery here https://stratechery.com/2020/anti-monopoly-vs-antitrust/ and here https://stratechery.com/2019/tech-and-antitrust/
Recombine services why: deliver more values to the customer (free me from crappy Linkedin algo for example)
but also delivering more innovation in tech and services, a Facebook not just obsessedn with spamming advertising with 90% gross revenue, what could do of new and wonderful with the 90% cumulated in their coffers once it is told to unbundle and become more companies
the strange feeling of these days: everybody talking about the new wave of bundling and unbundling on the web, and in absence on any hard science explaining the come and go of the bundle fashion, we are left to quote somebody saying “companies bundle, and then unbundle”. Management science explained.
What if we frame the break-up issue as unbundling, give it the same timeframe companies usually takes to do it, of course we have to come up with a design for the facebook group of companies. How many things are bundled there together?
Start from the privacy stratigraphy offered by Alex Stamos https://galley.cjr.org/public/conversations/-LsHiyaqX4DpgKDqf9Mj
Another issue, too big to break-up, stock market will suffer, wealth will be destroyed, poor microsoft missed things during it antitrust trial
Surely this argument will be used, so it is necessary to develop and prove a counterargument showing that innovation will deliver more benefits in the longer run. Antitrust will have to deal with innovation not just the customer